Arthroplasty, often referred to as a knee replacement surgery, is a common orthopedic procedure used to relieve pain and increase mobility in patients who have knee damage from: excessive wear and tear (often seen in athletes); severe injuries; or arthritis which is severe and debilitating. Often, before considering knee replacement, care providers will try to treat the pain with medication or walking supports, but with candidates for arthroplasty, those treatments do not offer sufficient relief. Knee replacement surgery involves removing the existing surfaces of the knee joint and implanting prosthetic surfaces which can be made out of metal and/or plastic.
DePuy Orthopaedics manufactures one of the most popular knee replacement devices currently on the market, known as the Attune Knee System. The DePuy Attune system was advertised as a product which would offer increased stability and a better range of motion. In the United States, the Attune Knee System was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2010. Since its release, some patients have claimed that the Attune Knee replacement falls well below expectations, and many persons who recieved the implants have gone on to complain to the FDA about the complications they have endured. The most concerning complaints made to the FDA are those involving loosening tibial components which ultimately require painful revision or reconstructive surgeries.
DePuy Orthopaedics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, is known for its hip and knee replacements. While DePuy has managed to be recognized as a leader in the field of medical devices, it has also faced frequent scrutiny for implants that were sub-par. These defective implants have been the subject of major nationwide lawsuits and even recalls. The Limb Preservation System® was recalled by DePuy in 2013 after frequent reports of fracturing, loosening, and failure of that particular knee replacement system.
DePuy also had a recall of its ASR® metal-on-metal hip devices in 2010. The ASR® recalls stemmed from high failure rates and premature failures of the system.
Common Problems Associated With Knee Implants
Patients with problematic knee implants can experience a wide variety of uncomfortable to debilitating problems. Some common problems include:
- Swelling Around the Knee
- Joint pain, especially in the knee itself or in the limb that receives the knee replacement.
- Fractures of the surrounding bone or bones
- Knee instability
- Failure of the knee replacement system
- Misalignment of the knee replacement components
Talk to your doctor if you notice any of the following symptoms in the months or years after your knee replacement surgery:
- Swelling around the knee
- Pain- especially pain which continues or worsens after the expected recovery time
- Inflammation or redness- these can be signs of irritation or infection
- Stiffness in the knee joint
- Clicking or grinding sounds when walking
- Warmth- this can be a sign of infection or irritation
- Decreased mobility- particularly after the patient has recovered and physical therapy has been completed
Revision or Reconstructive Surgeries
The expected lifespan of a full knee replacement system with normal use is 20 years. When a device is defective, this lifespan can be cut drastically shorter, and may require revision or reconstructive surgery much sooner. Because the original implant often must be removed in a reconstructive or revision surgery, many patients report that the revision surgeries are more painful and invasive, and may require a longer recovery period than an implant surgery.
Is Your DePuy Attune Implant Failing?
Holton Law Firm is currently investigating potential lawsuits on behalf of patients who have experienced health problems related to failure of the DePuy Attune Knee System. If you or someone you love required knee revision or reconstructive surgery due to a loosened or fractured DePuy Attune knee implant, you may be eligible to seek compensation for damages, including your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Call Holton Law Firm and we can help you explore your legal options. We offer no-cost and no-obligation initial consultations. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to discuss the details of your case.